From the growing popularity of agile working practices in smart businesses, to the profound impact millennials are having on workplace culture, it’s clear that modern business is changing, quickly.
And much of this change is the result of technology. Technology that has brought forth new, exciting potential for collaboration.
See, collaboration is vital. It allows businesses to become more efficient, it removes barriers to clear communication, it helps organisations learn from each other and coordinate their efforts more effectively to get more done.
Because of this, it is critical that today’s businesses are able to achieve true workforce collaboration. And in this blog, we’ll show you how to get started.
Re-wire Your Organisation
Becoming an agile organisation that effectively supports collaboration often means rewiring it at the most fundamental level. In fact, with an Accenture Strategy Report highlighting that many of today’s businesses “still employ deep hierarchies and create silos that divide teams and create numerous levels of approval”, it’s clear that a new approach to working methods and organisational structures is something many businesses require.
In order to reap the benefits of collaboration, employees must be freed from the damaging effects of silos to become more flexible and adaptable to the pace of today’s digital age.
After all, with business challenges evolving rapidly, organisations that are slowed down by bloated approval processes are running on borrowed time.
The key to addressing this doesn’t necessarily lie with technology, cloud computing or BYOD schemes though. Businesses must address the fundamentals first, employing smaller, specialised teams and a flatter structure that empowers all employees to make collaborate, more meaningful contributions to help solve business problems.
Develop and Hire Agile Leaders
With more and more businesses shifting away from traditional methods of working, the requirements for effective leadership have changed. What was considered sufficient then, is no longer good enough.
Business leaders today need to be able to manage complexity, process increasing amounts of data to make sound judgements, and thrive in the face of collapsing organisational hierarchies.
This, as well as forming leadership teams ready for a digital driven future, is a new challenge for HR. It’s a significant challenge too: according to Accenture Strategy, only 48% of workers feel their leaders are ready to adapt to advances in digital technologies. This encompasses social media, mobile applications, analytics and of course, collaboration tools.
To ensure your business isn’t at the mercy of insufficient leadership, we suggest you use the above traits as screening criteria when hiring new candidates for leadership roles. More important though, is empowering existing staff to become agile leaders – bringing us swiftly to our next point.
Empower Staff Through Training
While many businesses are taking considerable steps to create more flexible, productive and efficient workplaces through technology, the ultimate success for businesses looking to boost collaboration capabilities will depend on people.
This is a perspective also shared by Managing Director of Accenture Strategy, Ryan Shank, who highlights the need for firms to “empower the new workforce by providing information at the point of need”. Firms committed to doing this can expect higher productivity and increased customer satisfaction. Shanks then goes on to add: “to develop needed behaviours, organisations must combine recruitment with pioneering training and development activities – coaching, action learning and mentoring. It’s this that quickly builds capabilities.”
And it’s these capabilities that will form the foundation for truly agile, collaborative workforces.
However, such agility still needs to be driven by technology. More specifically, the right technology
To find the right techology, download our free report ‘Enabling Organisational Agility’ HERE, which complies the latest research from 15 major studies around the concept and issues of agile working practices.